Healthy Winter Food Swaps

Healthy Winter Food Swaps
Karina Stewart

Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa Founder and Chief Wellness Officer

Jun 01, 2023

By tweaking the ingredients of classic winter recipes and reconsidering the way you prepare and cook these dishes you will nourish the body through the colder months of the year with no need to worry about weight gain.


The Comfort Food: Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Bacon
The Swap: Buckwheat pancakes with stewed rhubarb/apple compote made with cinnamon and cloves

Compared to regular pancakes which are made with wheat, flour, sugar, milk and eggs (these ingredients can be allergenic), buckwheat pancakes are a great alternative (we can forward our Kamalaya recipe). Buckwheat is an alkaline grain, rich in B vitamins and fiber, and these pancakes are a great gluten free alternative to regular pancakes. Our suggestion is to add a seasonal fruit stewed with cinnamon and cloves for their warming, medicinal qualities.

The Comfort Food: Minestrone Soup with a cheese topping and a side of bread
The Swap: A vegetable soup of tomatoes, onion, zucchini, celery and garlic with quinoa or millet.

Quinoa is a great substitute for the pasta you would usually find in a minestrone soup. High in protein, filling and an alkaline grain, quinoa will complement a host of seasonal vegetables to form a nourishing and warming main meal which will keep you full until dinner time. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus while being high in magnesium and iron. We use quinoa in several dishes at Kamalaya and it is also on offer as a side dish.

Warm Drink Alternative
The Comfort Food: Hot Chocolate
The Swap: Herbal and spice teas or warm water with lime.

If you do still want to indulge in hot chocolate then make it with raw cacao, a nut or seed milk for the health benefits, and add a pinch of cinnamon, vanilla, or some low glycemic sweetener like stevia for sweetness. There are, however, a whole host of teas with medicinal benefits such as ginger tea, or a herbal chai blend with rooibos tea (non-caffeinated and spices like cloves, ginger, and cardamom) and at Kamalaya we make our own recipes using infusions of fennel, licorice, cinnamon, etc.

The Comfort Food: A Regular Roast Dinner with gravy and potatoes
The swap: Choose lean lamb strips and seasonal root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, daikon radishes with a pesto dressing; you could also mix in kale and spinach leaves (eliminating the potatoes, gravy and oily meat).

Adding mushrooms, sweet potato and slow roasted onions or pumpkin instead of the traditional potatoes will satisfy your appetite and taste buds while a pesto dressing will enhance the flavor of the overall dish without the use for gravy. Kale and spinach can be steamed and mixed in – steaming will preserve the nutritional value as it is high in anti-oxidants and a great source of Vitamin C, A, E, iron and folic acid among other properties.

The Carousel would like to thank Karina Stewart, Kamalaya’s Founder and Chief Wellness Officer, for this article. Check out Kamalaya’s website here. You can read more of Karina’s stories and recipes here.


By Karina Stewart

Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa Founder and Chief Wellness Officer

Karina Stewart is Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa. Born and raised in Mexico, Karina’s life journey has been greatly influenced by her mother’s interest in natural healing, meditation, yoga and spirituality. From the age of 14, when she began meditating and exploring Asian spiritual philosophies, Karina’s heart was opened to an existence of devotion and self discovery. Karina has more than twenty years experience in the study and practice of diverse Asian healing and spiritual traditions. Prior to Kamalaya, Karina founded a health centre in Kathmandu, Nepal, where for seven years she practiced Oriental Medicine and produced a range of Chinese herbal products. Karina’s vision is behind Kamalaya’s integral wellness programs, which aims to access the inner healing power within each individual and support a harmonious integration of heart, body, mind, and spirit.



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